Kristina Johnson was 18 years old when she was diagnosed as type 2 diabetes. Now, 13 years later, her kidneys have lost almost all of their ability to function effectively. He is looking for a kidney donor who can help restore his life to a normal state.
According to Johnson, he suffered from diabetes since he was a toddler – constantly cravings for water and candy – but was never diagnosed until he was a young adult.
“I only have doctors who don’t care,” he said. “I finally found someone who listens to me and listens to what I say about my wishes. He asked if I had ever been tested for diabetes. “
Johnson stated that this disease attacks both sides of his family.
When he read the test results, Johnson’s doctor revealed that Johnson A1C (a blood test that measures a person’s average blood glucose level, or blood sugar level, over a three-month period) was 18.6 percent.
5.7 percent is considered normal and type 2 diabetes is diagnosed if A1C exceeds 6.5 percent.
“I have just declined since then,” Johnson shared. “Since I was diagnosed in 2009, I started feeling worse. I started to suffer from heartburn which then started to bleed, then I suffered from anemia due to blood loss. I have high blood pressure and high cholesterol and I feel tired constantly. “
When his condition worsens, Johnson must start dialysis treatment, which removes excess water, toxins, and solutes from the blood when the kidneys can no longer do it themselves.
The first treatment is Valentine’s Day 2017.
While Johnson’s dialysis treatment was carried out at Beckley, at least once a month he had to travel three and a half hours to the University of Virginia to discuss the possibility of a kidney transplant.
After three years of dialysis treatment, he was finally put on the transplant waiting list on May 15. Receiving a kidney through a list alone can take up to three years.
“It’s easier to find a kidney donor than to wait on the list,” Johnson said, adding guidelines to be donated by the donated organ.
“Doctors recommend that the person does not have major health problems such as heart disease, the kidney must be able to live and of course there are no drugs or smoking or anything like that,” he said. “I need blood type O negative.”
After finding a donor, the doctor will do a biopsy to see whether Johnson’s blood and tissue types match the donor.
Kidney transplant can take between two and a half to six hours depending on the patient and if there are complications during surgery.
“If my body doesn’t reject it, I should be fine,” Johnson said. “I am very happy that I have the possibility of having my life back – not to be tired all the time and not having to watch what I do because of my dialysis port. I want to work to get a house, have a family – typical things. I am under arrest now and I just want to move forward. “
Johnson currently lives in Mount Hope with her husband, who helped bring him to and from appointments, made sure his port was cleaned properly and helped him around the house.
“He is my health care partner,” Johnson said, laughing. “He helped me a lot.”
When he was anxiously waiting for a donor, Johnson said he was a little worried about the whole process and didn’t feel as ready as he wanted.
“I can have a kidney tomorrow and I know what will happen, but this is all a learning process,” he said. “It’s scary. I’m restricted where I can go and travel while I wait for them to call me by kidney and I don’t have service, so I just feel trapped. Getting a new kidney is number one on my list. That will make me free again. “
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